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Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Sued the BBC

My lawyers did indeed send a registered letter to the BBC World Service in reference to thier use of "Real English" as a title of "their" English language learning program which they decided to call "Real English". More specifically it was a Chinese-orientated English - EFL - podcast.

After receiving correspondence from my lawyers, the BBC took down their podcast site. In other words, they apparently admitted that they should have at least checked out existing companies having the name they wanted to use, and should have chosen another name to begin with. At the same time I protected my baby, as it were.

Before the internet was able to handle video, we made interactive CD-ROMs including video. I began pursuing the idea of interviewing ordinary people in the streets to get a good sample of real English to bring back to the classroom. I did it. I still do it. In the early 90s, I purchased the mark "Real English" for all of Europe and for the USA, and a few other countries, and then made my first 3 Real English CDs with help from friends and employees, quickly followed by the DVDs and finally the Real English site. The site is my means of communication with English (ESL/EFL) teachers and students around the world.

I'm glad I trademarked Real English. I would not be able to protect myself with mere "copyright".

BTW, I really like the BBC. When I watch TV news in France on TV, I give equal time to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera in English, and French channels.

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